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Restaurants and pubs serving food will have to close at 11pm from Monday, Taoiseach says

The government has decided against allowing pubs that don’t serve food to reopen on 10 August.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin TD arriving for Cabinet at Dublin Castle.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin TD arriving for Cabinet at Dublin Castle.
Image: Sam Boal

RESTAURANTS AND PUBS serving food will have to close at 11 o’clock at night from next Monday, the Taoiseach has confirmed this evening.

The government has decided against allowing pubs that don’t serve food to reopen on 10 August, delaying their reopening for a second time.

Hotel bars, nightclubs and casinos will also remain closed; this will be reviewed again on 31 August. 

“I wouldn’t use the word curfew now,” said Martin, when stating that restaurants and pubs will have to close by 11pm.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar added that the “customers should be off the premises by 11″. He said restaurants can stay open beyond 11pm for takeaways, deliveries and for staff to clean up.

“What we want to stop is what was kind of happening, this was kind of happening, restaurants were almost operating as pubs,” said Varadkar. 

TheJournal.ie has sought clarity as to whether this announcement this evening will impact on the licensing laws governing opening hours. 

CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adran Cummins said this evening that following tonight’s announcement by government the organisation has sought an urgent meeting with the Taoiseach to discuss the decision / rational to close restaurants and pubs serving food at 11pm.

All other pubs were originally meant to reopen on 20 July as part of Phase Four, but this was postponed until 10 August. After an increase in cases, and with advice from NPHET taken into account, Cabinet has decided to delay the reopening of over 3,500 pubs again.

The Taoiseach said: “I want [pub owners] to know, that I have enormous sympathy for their plight. 

This virus is taking away their ability to earn a living. It is stopping them from providing a key service in the heart of many communities.

Reacting to this evening’s announcement, bodies representing pubs said the decision to postpone their reopening again will be met with “fury and despair” from the industry. 

In a statement this evening, the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said the Government has “abandoned” 3,500 pubs across Ireland following the decision. 

“The majority of pubs across Ireland are still closed and they will now have to keep their doors shut for a minimum of 168 days, which represents 46% of a year,” the LVA and VFI said in a joint statement. 

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The groups said the sympathy being expressed by Government “will not save pub businesses or jobs”.

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